Time On Their Side

Flexing Your Schedules

Exactly what is flextime? Under flexible work scheduling, employees typically put in a normal workweek--approximately 40 hours--but they choose their own starting and quitting times. So one employee might start the day at 6 a.m. and go home at 3 p.m., while another starts late in the morning and calls it a day in the early evening. "Some flextime schedules even allow workers to borrow hours and carry them from one workday to the next or, in some extremely flexible programs, from one week to another," says Ron Riggio, a professor at Claremont McKenna College's Kravis Leadership Institute in Claremont, California.

Give workers that freedom, and the big advantage to them is a sense of freedom and control, says Riggio. That's a huge plus because nowadays, most employees must do complicated juggling to handle the work, family and personal demands they face daily.

Flextime is one tool that lets employees find solutions to managing their busy schedules. "Give employees more control over their time, and they feel they can find ways to control the rest of their lives," says Lingle. And that creates a happier, more productive employee.

Indeed, not only does flextime make for happier workers, says Riggio, "It usually puts an end to absenteeism and tardiness on the part of employees."

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Time On Their Side.

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